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Use of radiocommunications for announcing andidentifying medical transports protected under the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and under the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the protection of victims international armed conflicts (Protocol I)
Use of radiocommunications for announcing andidentifying medical transports protected under the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and under the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the protection of victims international armed conflicts (Protocol I)


    The Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts, Geneva, 1974-1977,

    Considering that :

    (a) it is vital that distinctive and reliable communications be used for identifying, and announcing the movement of, medical transports,

    (b) adequate and appropriate consideration will be given to communications related to the movement of a medical transport only if it is identified by an internationally recognized priority signal such as "Red Cross", "Humanity", "Mercy" or other technically and phonetically recognizable term,

    (c) the wide range of circumstances under which a conflict may occur makes it impossible to select in advance suitable radio frequencies for communications,

    (d) the radio frequencies to be employed for communicating information relative to the identification and movement of medical transports must be made known to all parties who may use medical transports,


    Having noted :

    (a) Recommendation No. 2 of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference, 1973, relating to the use of radiocommunications for announcing and identifying hospital ships and medical aircraft protected under the Geneva Conventions of 1949,

    (b) Recommendation No. Mar2 - 17 of the International Telecommunication Union World Maritime Administrative Radio Conference, Geneva, 1974, relating to the use of radio-communications for marking, identifying, locating, and communicating with the means of transport protected under the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, concerning the protection of war victims and any additional instruments of those conventions, as well as for ensuring the safety of ships and aircraft of States not Parties to an armed conflict;

    (c) the memorandum by the International Frequency Registration Board (IFRB), a permanent organ of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), relating to the need for national co-ordination on radiocommunication matters;


    Recognizing that :

    (a) - the designation and use of frequencies, including the use of distress frequencies,

    - operating procedures in the Mobile Service,

    - the distress, alarm, urgency and safety signals, and

    - the order of priority of communications in the Mobile service

    are governed by the Radio Regulations annexed to the International Telecommunication Convention;

    (b) these Regulations may be revised only by a competent ITU World Administrative Radio Conference;

    (c) the next competent World Administrative Radio Conference is planned for 1979 and that written proposals for the revision of the Radio Regulations should be submitted by Governments about one year before the opening of the Conference,

    1. Takes note with appreciation that a specific item has been included on the agenda of the World Administrative Radio Conference, Geneva, 1979, which reads:

    "2.6 to study the technical aspects of the use of radiocommunications for marking, identifying, locating and communicating with the means of medical transport protected under the 1949 Geneva Conventions and any additional instruments of these Conventions";

    2. Requests the President of the Conference to transmit this document to all Governments and organizations invited to the present Conference, together with the attachments representing the requirements, both for radio frequencies and for international recognition of an appropriate priority signal, which must be satisfied in the proceedings of a competent World Administrative Radio Conference;

    3. Urges the Governments invited to the present Conference to make, as a matter of urgency, the appropriate preparations for the World Administrative Radio Conference to be held in 1979 so that the vital requirements of communications for protected medical transports in armed conflicts may be adequately provided for in the Radio Regulations.

    Fifty-fourth plenary meeting 7 June 1977


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